Sensory Aspects of Trail-Following Behaviors in the Asian Longhorned Beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis

Fern Graves, Thomas C. Baker, Aijun Zhang, Melody Keena, Kelli Hoover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Anoplophora glabripennis has a complex suite of mate-finding behaviors, the functions of which are not entirely understood. These behaviors are elicited by a number of factors, including visual and chemical cues. Chemical cues include a male-produced volatile semiochemical acting as a long-range sex pheromone, a female-produced cuticular hydrocarbon blend serving as a sex-identification contact pheromone, and a recently identified female-produced trail sex pheromone that is followed by mate-seeking males. However, the sensory appendages and sensilla on these appendages used to detect the trail sex pheromone are unknown. We evaluated the ability of virgin male A. glabripennis to follow a sex pheromone trail after removal of the terminal four antennal segments and/or the maxillary and labial palps using a two-choice behavioral bioassay. We also tested the ability of males to follow the trail sex pheromone using volatile pheromone cues only, without physical contact with the pheromone. Results indicate that the palps are primarily responsible for sensing the pheromone, with males lacking palps unable to respond behaviorally to the trail sex pheromone. Under the conditions of this study, males could not follow the sex pheromone trail without direct contact, suggesting that olfaction may not be involved in detection of this pheromone. However, we did not determine to what degree the trail pheromone chemicals can volatilize under our experimental conditions. This work is important in elucidating the behaviors and sensory structures involved in mate-finding by this species on host trees, and these studies may help determine whether the trail sex pheromone has applications for monitoring and management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-628
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Insect Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


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